The Chinese authorities advised its athletes against eating meat before the Summer Olympics in London as it may contain the banned substance clenbuterol, the Russian anti-doping agency Rusada said on Wednesday.
Clenbuterol is fed to livestock to bulk them up and keep the meat lean, but the substance is prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). There were a number of cases involving the performance-enhancing substance that resulted in athlete disqualification following drug tests.
The Chinese authorities recommended that the athletes not eat veal, lamb and pork, but stick to fish and chicken and dine only in recommended places.
Last November, WADA Director General David Howman already advised all athletes against eating meat in China and Mexico, where reports of contaminated meat originated.
“We have collected sufficient evidence to demonstrate that in some countries there is a risk of eating meat that might be contaminated so we say to athletes that they should be sensible and cautious about where they eat,” he said.
Two years ago the International Judo Federation slapped Chinese Olympic Champion Tong Wen with a two-year ban after traces of clenbuterol were discovered in her blood and she was forced to give back her gold medal from the 2009 World Championships.